Letter - Slow down, wear seat belt, pay attentionIt is with a heavy heart that we submit this letter. In light of the recent traffic deaths in our state, we are asking everyone to please slow down, pay attention, wear your seat belts and don’t drink and drive. These were all factors involved with the fatal crashes.
To the editor:
It is with a heavy heart that we submit this letter. In light of the recent traffic deaths in our state, we are asking everyone to please slow down, pay attention, wear your seat belts and don’t drink and drive. These were all factors involved with the fatal crashes. Of the 16 fatalities, 11 were not wearing seat belts and a majority of them were teenagers.
Traffic crashes are the leading killer of teens in Minnesota. They are the most inexperienced on the road, are most likely to take risks and have the lowest seat belt use rates. In outstate Minnesota, more teens don’t wear their seat belts than in other parts of the state.
Distractions are abundant – text messaging, talking with passengers, too many passengers, changing radio stations and manipulating the numerous electronic gadgets in vehicles. There are laws that address this but officers cannot be everywhere every time to spot violations.
Newly licensed drivers are issued a provisional license (first year of licensure) and are prohibited from using cell phones while driving and nobody is allowed to text, send/read e-mails or use wireless devices while driving. For provisional license holders, there are restrictions on how many passengers and times of day they are allowed to drive. For more information, contact the sheriff’s office at (320) 762-8151.
We ask that you speak up if you are in a car with friends and someone is being disruptive to the driver. Pay attention to driving, don’t text message, limit the number of passengers in your car, don’t drink and drive… we could go on and on.
Parents, we ask that you continue your great efforts to watch after your children and educate them on the many risks of driving.
Douglas County Sheriff
Brandon Chaffins, Douglas County Deputy Sheriff